Thursday, August 5, 2010
there is heat in freezing- be a testament
I have a complicated relationship with my own alone-ness. In college, I bought the Jonathan Franzen essay book, How to be Alone, just in case he had any answers (he didn't). And this poem, while pretty, and soothing in it's own way, is mostly about HOW to be alone-- activities that make you feel better, should you be a together person who happens to temporarily find yourself alone.
I already am very good at that stuff. I know how to enjoy an empty apartment, a bath by myself, a small meal I cooked myself, reading in peace. These activities of being alone, I am a pro at these... that's what I DO. I know HOW to do this. Which is different than wanting to do this... for as many years as I have already done and can foresee doing into the future. Neither this poem, (by Halifax poet Tanya Davis-- yay for Halifax!) nor any book I've ever read has actually talked about how to BE alone though. For the long haul.
Because the only thing anyone can seem to say with any kind of certainty is the only way to be alone is embrace being alone. Which is a different kind of comfort and savoring of being alone than reading on a park bench, or sitting at a coffee shop. A whole menu of being alone is different than the tasty morsel of cake... of being alone. In the day in and day out of being alone, it is a different kind of embrace. We'll see how well I embrace being alone on the remote coast of Scotland. Maybe it will be easier there.